AMERICAN FOCUS

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By: Wayne Brown


With the 2012 run for the White House beginning to take longer strides, President Obama, the incumbent, has unleashed a tirade declaring in a rather high-toned manner that , “I won’t go back!” One can interpret that statement in various ways but the most intriguing one is the unspoken suggestion that Obama has actually made progress away from a bad situation in his first term in office. This may be as close as Obama comes to actually talking about his performance in his first term…history in the making. Let us be clear about where we are at the present in this country before we get the feeling that we have come to a better place.


The federal government continues to operate in a deficit spending manner logging approximately $1.25 trillion dollars in add national debt with each passing year. During Obama’s tenure, that debt has increased by $5 trillion dollars and continues to grow as his administration looks for more and more ways to increase spending. Our debt now closely matches our annual GDP…basically assets equal liabilities. If we continue on this path, our liabilities will soon exceed our assets signaling our official bankruptcy as a nation. The government has not had a budget in over three years and is operating on an open checkbook. Fiscal responsibility has been flushed down the toilet both at the presidential level and in the legislative branch as well.



The Justice Department under the direction of Attorney General, Eric Holder, is woefully out of control and seemingly on a hunt to invade as many sectors of the American public as possible. Holder has engaged in illegal activities with the “Fast & Furious” gun campaign which resulted in the death of a Border Patrol officer. He has openly defied both Congressional oversight and ignored the Constitution as his focus seems to be more on making a name for himself politically than it is on protecting and defending the Constitution…a very important aspect of his oath of office. Holder is basically on a mission to terminate gun ownership in America and he will do it in any manner which will accomplish the task while both Congress and the Supreme Court sit idly by and allow it to happen.



Our welfare rolls are loaded with illegal immigrants who have come to America to simply live off the fat of the land. They demand rights which are not granted to them as non-citizens and concessions in the arena of education, language, etc. The government, under Obama, has terminated all programs designed to seal off the border and refuses to discuss any efforts to do so. Obama has placed illegal immigration on the back-burner for now hoping that he can hang on the Hispanic and Latino vote with the promise of immigration reform in his second term. Any plan which Obama might have in that area will move the nation closer and closer to blanket amnesty programs and reinvigorate the illegal immigration flow. Reform without secure borders is simply a waste of time and taxpayer money.



Obama-Care awaits the July decision of the Supreme Court as to its constitutionality. This utopian social program is the clearest representation of all that America cannot afford in terms of spending along with insurmountable damage to our current healthcare institutions. The government does not have a positive track record in successfully running anything without pouring more and more money into it. The U.S. Postal Service should be the poster child for that ability. The only thing the Postal Service is doing successfully is putting itself out of business one –cent at a time. Obama has already taken $500 billion dollars out of the assets of Medicare to finance the launch of his healthcare reform. This piece of legislation is his chosen legacy in history and he will spend any amount of money necessary in order to make that legacy a reality. In the end, Americans who work will pay more for their healthcare which will be rationed and inefficient. The cost of poverty will be a burden cast upon the individual states through Medicaid leading only to a greater financial burden for working Americans.



We have watched as, early on, Obama gutted the mission of NASA. For all the years and money spent in pursuit of a presence in space, and for all the technological advancement which has come from it, our nation now has to hitch a ride to the space station in order to participate. All this, done in the interest of “saving money”, means very little in light of the amount of money which has been literally wasted in the past few years on stimulus, green projects, and other forms of money laundering for campaign favors. Now it seems that the military in next on the list to be trimmed back all on the promise of a “leaner, meaner, and more technologically advanced military machine. Ironically, technology has been one of the big drivers of cost in the military but our president is willing to hang on to it in lieu of “boots on the ground”.



Class envy and ethnic distrust are at an all-time high in the country thanks to the endless tirades by the President citing the lack of taxes paid by the rich as the basis for poverty among the poor. President Obama claims to be all about making things better for the middle class yet his actions spell out a long-term disaster for that sector of America. Using tax comparisons between Warren Buffet and his personal secretary which are misleading and wantonly ignorant in their conclusions is fair game to this administration in attempting to demolish the current tax levies and find a basis to raise them. The simple truth of the matter is that the government cannot raise significant revenue through taxation without taking it out on the middle-class workers of America…the largest sector of working people. Increased taxation on the rich, especially in the areas of capital gains, only stymies investment on our shores thus suppressing growth in the economy and the jobs market. Ultimately, this leads to even less revenue streaming into the government because less products are being made, less profits turned, less income taxed, and a continued overall shrinkage of the economic engine.



The private sector business side of the American economy is sitting idle at present thanks in great part to the actions of the Obama Administration. The lack of fiscal responsibility in Washington has investors and business people running from investment and focused on capital liquidity. Regulations, threats of taxation, EPA actions and oversight, the ever-growing cost of energy and the suppression of efforts to discover more, government-run healthcare, the lack of checks and balances in government, legislative gridlock, and a rapidly growing national debt all roll together to keep the fires of fear burning in the hearts of American investors and businessmen. For Obama to conclude that the private sector is “fine” is simply one of the most ignorant conclusions ever voiced by a politician who seems to have no understanding of economics whatsoever, or, it is nothing more than smoke to cover the path of economic destruction which Obama plans to continue in his second-term. One thing is for sure…unless the current situation in Washington changes drastically with the 2012 elections, the American economy will continue to stagnate and falter even more in the coming years, especially if it continues to follow the directions of this administration.



There are no miracles nor are there any miracle-workers out there in the political world that can immediately change the items discussed about. There are plenty who can worsen them to an even greater degree. This nation belongs to its people and any one occupying a place in elected government or government service should never lose sight of that fact. Every elected official takes an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution of The United States of America for good reason. It is the strength and endurance of that document which has bound us together as a nation and provided the platform for our focus on freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Without it, the people of this country exist on the whims of those who occupy office and impose their brand of governing. As a nation, we the people, must show our resolve to stop this downward spiral into debt and economic ruin; to stop the dismantling of our republic and the documents which guide its governance; to return ourselves to economic prosperity; and to reduce the size and scope of the federal government in the process. This is a focus which will require some sacrifice and a long-term resolve and we can only pray that we can gain leadership in the White House which will motivate us as a nation to shoulder the task.



In the coming months, you will continue to hear this President rail about “not going back” suggesting that he has created a better place here in America. You will see him shy away from his own record while attacking the opposition with issues that have no bearing on the subject at hand. Nothing can stop this approach. We, as voters, must see it for what it is and realize that America does have the opportunity in 2012 to get off this train and begin a journey back to economic growth and stability along with Constitutional governance as the primary guide to our elected ones. Whether we make that change or not is what makes the election of 2012 more critical than any election in our history as a nation. This election is not about a man or woman. It is an election about a direction and our future as a nation. Do not let distractions and suggestions of a return to a place that does not exist come into play. The only sure thing we face at the present is the destructive path which this President and his administration have placed us on as a people…that is all this President has to offer for the future.



©Copyright WBrown2012. All Rights Reserved.


13 June 2012


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Comments 79 comments

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Wayne.....This not only a powerful article, for me, it is timely.

Just Sunday I sat with a group of female peers, when the discussion turned to the Presidential race...etc. As much as I dislike this topic at social events, I participated and paid close attention.

Sadly, the general consensus amongst this group was a frustrated admission they felt hopeless enough to refuse to vote at all.

While I didn't verbalize my own feelings....I questioned my ability to make a firm decision at that moment.

That was then and this is now. Your clear-cut, factual and common sense run-down of what we have, where we are, what is and is not...in short, "the laundry list" written on the wall....has firmly impressed upon me, the need to change our detergent. Thank you, Wayne. Your wisdom blows my mind! UP++


Chris Dane profile image

Chris Dane 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

A few points: the deficit spending to counterbalance the great recession is a key element of modern economics. Obama still hasn't spent as much through deficit spending as Bush and a Republican Congress did when there wasn't an economic crisis.

The welfare rolls are not loaded with illegal immigrants. In fact, illegals have been returning to Mexico in droves to look for other work (see rotting crops down south) and due to the historic level of deportations conducted under the Obama administration. Obama is actually tougher on immigration than Bush was.

Obamacare addressed the impending healthcare cost increase crisis that Republicans had predicted since Nixon and managed to create a bill that siphons some of the coverage of medicare into a new construct that keeps private insurance while balancing the cost increase with deficit controls. I will point out, for contrast, that the Republican medicare entitlement wasn't paid for so it increased the deficit (more of the Bush era spending-palooza I mentioned earlier). Obamacare is more fiscally conservative than the Republican attempts to address the crisis before it. I'd also like to point out that the Post Office used to run fine, before it was privatized.

And NASA? Really? After all your complaints about deficit spending and government efficiency? They crashed that multi million dollar probe into the Martian surface because they messed up the metric system. i thought they'd be at the top of your chopping list.

As for class envy, you're really blaming Obama, when the lower and middle class loss 40% of their net worth in 2007 under Bush? I think people have a right to be pissed off when they've lost their job, their home, and their boss who fired them is making record profits and not paying the same tax rate. That's not envy, that's a reckoning.

Obama has created millions of jobs, but there's still a lot more that needs done. Three years isn't very long, when you consider that the Great Depression took over a decade to recover from. By that measure, it's important to add that his jobs bill was blocked by the Republicans in Congress and that the private sector is not where we are losing jobs. It's the public sector, where Republican governors are firing. And Paul Ryan wants to cut 4 million more public jobs with his budget.

So where's your common sense? Unemployment will increase under the Republicans and the economy will slow even further. This isn't the type of rocket science you need NASA for.


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

I have to agree with Chris!! I am hoping that Obama will be followed by Hillary! It takes many years to turn around a bad situation.


American Romance profile image

American Romance 4 years ago from America

Chris, you answer is misguided, Obama has spent more than every single president this country has ever had, COMBINED! Rotting crops? hahahehe, maybe from drought! Obama killed 24000 farming jobs in CA over a tiny minnow that lives one year at best! Yes some are leaving but they are being replaced daily!

And Chris, this 40% loss came from housing prices! You can thank Barney Frank for that one! Funny about how all your negative facts trace back to Democrats! Stick around Chris.........you might learn something!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@fpherj48...Thank you. Glad I can get you thinking a bit. As well as you write, you should be able to state your case very plainly for anyone. WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Chris Dane...Look a bit closer, Chris. The spending increase which took place in the Bush Administration came about in 2007 after the Democrats had retaken control of both houses in the mid-terms. Overall, as a percentage of GDP, Bush had a slightly lower spending ratio than Clinton while the government was faltering on revenue intake in the later stages of his last term. Obama has the largest expense ratio to GDP exceeding Bush by 3% points. After 2007, the spending never came back down. As for NASA...a $17 billion dollar budget reduction did nothing for Obama's spending ratio. You might note that Obama threw almost 10 times that amount at Solyndra only to watch it go down the drain in bankruptcy...and that is just one. That must the some of those millions of jobs you refer to created by Obama.

As for middle class America losing its wealth in 2007....statistics lie and that is statistically what happened due primarily to the loss of equity value in homes. You might note and I hope Angela notices also that the situation with the housing bubble came out of the Clinton Era thanks to Barney Frank and friends. Bush warned Congress numerous times in his second term of the problem but the Democrat controlled Congress failed to act letting the bubble burst.

Regarding spending, there is no valid basis to assume that the government can spend its way out of bankruptcy and also stimulate the economy in the process. That is a "false stimulus" and only energizes those interested to gaining wealth from the government dole. The economy will not fire up and create jobs until the private sector becomes part of the process. That will not happen for all the reasons that I listed...the Obama Administration is doing nothing to promote a business environment and everything to suppress it.

Illegal immigration accounts for a heavy toll on various states in terms of welfare....Texas and Arizona alone are well over 60% according to the Census Bureau. The voluntary return to Mexico is simply a function of the economics on this side of the river at the present...a factor in why Obama's catch and release program is in positive margin at the moment. Thanks for you comments. WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Angela Brummer...Sorry to hear that Angela. The housing debacle was a direct result of Clinton Era politics. I also seriously doubt that Hilary will have anything to run for in 2016 if Obama sees another term. We cannot sustain the spending, debt, and suppression of the economy that much longer. Thanks for the comments. WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@American Romance...Thanks for comments AR. I only have to write one of these pieces to see how badly things have been twisted over time. With the Democrats totally controlling Congress the last two years of the Bush Administration, America has in effect been in the spending grip of the Democrats now for six long years. The economy is almost stagnate showing only anemic growth and the same is true for unemployment...the figure only going down as the numbers are manipulated to exclude those who have given up. The private sector has no faith in investment, healthcare costs, taxation, or regulation and thus is stymied. The rising cost of energy and the over-regulation of it have gutted consumer confidence...ask just about any restaurant as to how their business is going and you get the message quickly...less customers, higher energy and food costs, no profits. Thanks much. WB


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

Yes Chris, look at everything "a bit closer" and I applaud you for recognizing the overwhelming boilerplate Neocon bias, misdirection and misinformation going on here.

Deregulation of big business, a stacked Supreme Court and two unnecessary wars on an disclosed taxpayer credit card are the reason this country is in the mess it's in.

And Angela, if you want a non-partisan view of the "housing debacle" that doesn't scapegoat try this link:

http://business.cch.com/bankingfinance/focus/news/...


Chris Dane profile image

Chris Dane 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

Dear Wayne Brown, and American Romance, with respect to the both of you for your capable writing and arguments, the spending I spoke of (trillions) transpired by 2005 and the medicare entitlement was 2006, well before Democrats took back the house. So, no, Republicans get the bill for all the spending. Furthermore, when Clinton first took the white house in 1992, he and the democratic house reduced the 3 Trillion dollar deficit by 10% in the first two years, before Gingrich ever took the gavel. Guess what? Obama took office and SPENDING ACTUALLY WENT DOWN. TARP was Bush, my friends. Obamacare ticked the spending dial up again, but compared to the looming exponential increase to deficit spending that would have been the alternative under medicare and medicaid as things stood, this was warranted. I'll remind you that Obamacare was completely funded and deficit neutral. And since no one, not even Republicans controlling all three branches of government, as we saw previously, will kill medicare or medicaid, they acted responsibly. And we would have had 4 trillion in cuts to counterbalance all of the emergency spending, but as I recall, the tea party caucus betrayed the Republican party and every conservative, hell, every American, in the country and torpedoed that, not Obama. The soon to be two term president of the United States did put social security, medicare and medicaid on the table, which is more than the entire Republican party could do when they had total control. Embarrassing.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Wayne - Seems that Chris Dane is a Democratic revisionist of history. He'll vote for Obama again, even after all you laid out here. Facts escape people like Dane. Too much MSNBC? Huffington Post? It's hard to tell but Obama has his flock of devoted sheeple who like to play the partisan politics game and further his finger pointing and blame game in the name of what?

He failed to deliver as he promised to deliver. That's the bottom line with me. Here's a reminder for the likes of the Danes who walk among us...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UErR7i2onW0

So explain this away while you're spinning Chris Dane?

The Frog


Chris Dane profile image

Chris Dane 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

Revisionism? Hah! Actually, the part that hurts is that you assumed I watch MSNBC and read the Huffington Post. I would rather play Russian roulette with a fully loaded six shooter than listen to Chris Matthew's talk. Sigh. My defense of Obama is not because he's some great leader, it's because the Republicans are such a big fail pile in a sad sack.

The problem here is that you have drawn a line in the sand and said everyone is on either side, no matter where they were originally standing. I'm a fiscal conservative. But there's no Republican Party for me to join. I've been voting for the Democrats "failing upward" strategy because (I'm appalled to say this) it's better than the alternative. Isn't it sad that this is where we all now stand?


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

Chris - Spoken like the rue partisan talking head you appear to be. This is about this nation, not the supremacy of some political party with an agenda to exercise. Get over yourself son.

You seem to have the same tingle going up your leg that Chrissy had back when.

The Frog


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

Chris

As long as you play the republicans versus the democrats you will wind up in the same place as the United States is today.

Neither the democrats nor the republicans have done anything that prevented the economic collapse in 2008. Both parties were too busy pandering for the presidency and the control of congress. Most of the presidential candidates were senators in congress, and they spent their time working for themselves, and not the country.

At the top of this list was Senator Barrack Obama, who accomplished nothing as Senator of Illinois but through his hard work and dedication of promoting himself, he did win the election for president.

As president he accomplished nothing, and he didn't satisfy his election promises. He spent the first two years as president with his democratic controlled congress on Obamacare, instead of trying to fix the economy.

Both the congress during Bush, and the congress of Obama threw a total of over one and a half trillion dollars at the economy. The result is over three years later the economy is still on life support.

History of the US in the last one hundred years will show that the two party system has not moved the country forward, it just moves it left or right.

The three branches of the country have been compromised and there really aren't any checks and balances. The only checks are those written out by the government resulting in a negative balance of over thirteen trillion dollars.

As for Immigration the use of the US DOJ to file suit against the states trying to do what the government should be doing is also discrimination.

The legal immigrants that go through the legal process, at great expense, and time are mostly rejected by immigration quotas. While illegal aliens not only roam free in the country they get free medical, free education, and handout for their very large families.

These illegal aliens are fill up the local jails and prisons as some of them are gang members, and criminal. These people couldn't pass the requirement of the immigration law.

These immigrants also demand legal rights under our Constitution while legal immigrant are stuck in red tape.

Neither the democrats nor the republicans have done anything since the oil scams of the 1970s to protect our economy and our national defense because of our dependency on foreign oil.

Finally, an accomplishment is not merely an action to do something, it is an act that actually helps people and the country. Obama has no accomplishments.

Sorry for the interruption here Wayne..


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Wizard of Whimsy...Wiz, you are just like the federal government in that you want to blame the financial industry for carrying out what the government created. Government loan guarantees, backing of marginal credit and a loosening of rules regarding the income versus debt ratio in home purchases along with pressure from government officials went along way to push the bubble to its bursting point all in the name of giving everyone a fair chance at home ownership. All that paper came apart on the front steps of the government when the buyers default of escalating ARM loans on houses they could not afford in the first place. Far too many also played on the speculation of an escalating housing market when there is no guarantee of such especially when defaults are rampant in many markets. This yoke goes around Barney Frank and the likes neck regardless of any IMF analysis.

@Chris Dane... Note the figures below published by the OMB:

YEAR RECEIPTS OUTLAYS + / -

2005 2.153 T$ 2.472 T$ - 318 B$

2006 2.406 T$ 2.655 T$ - 248 B$

2007 2.568 T$ 2.728 T$ - 160 B$

2008 2.524 T$ 2.982 T$ - 458 B$

2009 2.105 T$ 3.517 T$ -1.412 T$

2010 2.162 T$ 3.456 T$ -1.293 T$

2011 2.303 T$ 3.603 T$ -1.299 T$

2012 (est) 2.468 T$ 3.795. T$ -1.326 T$

I think the numbers are pretty clear in respect to where the spending started and who piled up the most debt in the shortest period of time. Bush accumulated just over $1.7 trillion in additional debt over an eight year cycle. Obama has accumulated just over $4 trillion in three years with an estimated 1.3 trillion to be added to that figure by the end of 2012.

I really do not put any stock into the deficit neutral aspects of Obama-Care....it is easy to say that on paper when one is theorizing, it is another when things are in practice.

As for the Republican aspect or Democrat aspect of this situation...I could care less and would not pay you much for either breed. The key here is the employment of some sound principles which will reduce the deficit and allow the private sector to expand and grow. At present, the Obama Administration has done nothing more than throw away money and install downstream programs that will cost taxpayers even more money all in the name of getting votes. If these methods would have worked, then Jimmy Carter might have gone down in history as a hero. We are a lot further down that same road today and I see no reasons to celebrate any progress, improvement, or success as a result of the $ 4 trillion taxpayer dollars which have gone into a black-hole. WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@ibradmasters...No problem. I think you offer a pretty common sense view on these matters. At the bottom line, politicians have done little more than make either false promises or very expense one for the taxpayer in order to get votes and stay in office. At the same time, they line their own pockets with money and benefits. In the private sector, it is called theft and it is illegal. WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@ibradmasters...No problem. I think you offer a pretty common sense view on these matters. At the bottom line, politicians have done little more than make either false promises or very expense one for the taxpayer in order to get votes and stay in office. At the same time, they line their own pockets with money and benefits. In the private sector, it is called theft and it is illegal. WB


Chris Dane profile image

Chris Dane 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

Yes, you're showing the debt but not the contributing deficits and their timing. This is a popular run around game offered by Republicans, trying to confuse people by switching between the debt and the deficit. I'll lay it out for you from the CBO: "The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected in 2001 that the federal government would erase its debt in 2006 and be $2.3 trillion in the black by 2011. The difference between projected and actual debt in 2011 can be largely attributed to:

$3.6 Trillion – Economic changes (including lower than expected tax revenues due to recession)

$3.0 Trillion – Bush Tax Cuts

$1.4 Trillion – War in Afghanistan and Iraq

$1.4 Trillion – Stimulus spending in response to the 2008 Financial Crisis

So, here we can clearly see that the Bush tax cuts were the first thing that took us from the Clinton surplus (which would have positioned us as financially invulnerable for the next 50 years) and now to Obama, who, as I pointed out, put 4 Trillion in off-setting cuts together with Boehner that the Tea Party caucus torpedoed, would thus not only have been deficit neutral but closer to debt neutral had they gone through.

And it's funny that you say Obamacare's deficit neutrality is theory. It was a law that was passed, so it's no longer theory, its law. Those deficit controls are law. So, where are your sound principles for debt control, if you won't believe the ones that do exist and you won't look at the failures caused by the ones who claimed those principles in the past but failed to implement them?


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

Thanks WB I am listening. Religion and Politics. Perhaps we could speak horses. No doesn't that go with Religion and polictics! Have a great day!


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

Come on Wayne, you know as well as I that the government has been owned and scammed by the financial sector ever since W. was elected. Those swindlers who milked the government-backed mortgages by selling to any warm body available have also done it to naive college students who are now in hock up to their eyeballs.

Just look at the suck-up deference paid to Jamie Dimon this afternoon by both parties during his congressional hearing. The system has been juked and if Americans don't come together to stop this nonsense, it's all our grand kids who'll pay for our "non-negotiable" attitudes.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Chris Dane...I am showing the revenue and expenses as they passed through the government at the time. I care little for the speculation of the CBO. Only a damn fool would believe that this government would be in the black by 2006 and have a 2.6 trillion dollar surplus. As for the numbers you cite, I think some of them get used over and over and different ways but you line them up as stand alone figures. For one thing, if the Bush tax cuts are indeed worth 3 trillion dollars, you need to decide what term it takes to collect that money...it is certainly not one year since the government's revenue falls far shot of that figure at the present. You also want to claim $3.6 trillion in shortfall revenues when historically the government has not collected that amount from the revenue stream....how many years do we use for a multiplier? I will give you the war in Afghanistan and then you want to cite the stimulus money on tope of the revenue shortfall...voodoo math!

You really think that because Obama-Care was passed into law that the action makes it a sound conclusion...that blows my mind. The fact that it becomes law makes the operational aspects of it a a fact...give me a break.

Obama only knows one thing and that is the continued art of spending, spending, spending which leads us to nothing more than higher taxes which will never relieve the debt burden even if you move the rate to 100%. The government cannot spend its way out of this mess for any approach leaves the private sector...the major driving engine of the economy out of the process. Until that happens, there will be no revenue increase unless they come from taxes which are imposed of a decreasing revenue stream in the private sector. WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Angela Brummer...One thing I can assure you...I will never mislead you or anyone else in the name of politics. I am really not a political person but, one thing I can assure you, this president and his actions have my full attention for a lot of reasons other than religion or politics. This man does not have your best interest in mind nor mine. You can count on that. I have never said that about any president thus I do it with a firm belief in what I see and what this person exhibits in terms of his belief in respect for the Constitution and our American way of life. If he indeed has a better plan, then let us see it rather than asking us as a public to embark on a journey to possibly nowhere which undermines the very structure of our system here in America. This man cannot repair a set of broken shoe laces without assistance...WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Wizard of Whimsy...Come on Wiz...if the government were owned by the financial sector, don't you think that ownership might date back to Clinton and Barney Frank's Fair Housing Act? Bush endured that situation....he did not create it and a Democrat dominated Congress refused to do anything about it. WB


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

I sincerely don't, Wayne. I fault Clinton for NAFTA and a bunch of other negative things, but the march to hobble and usurp government's power I put squarely on the Republicans— starting with big business interests and their pitchman, Ronnie Reagan.

Clinton and Frank may have given the rapacious powers (of big business) the tools to exploit the system and destroy the middle class, but you can't blame their well-intentioned laws for the corrupt an greedy behaviors of Darwinian Banksters who brought America down and left the American taxpayer on the hook for their thievery.

Republicans want less government for the same reason criminals want less cops.


Chris Dane profile image

Chris Dane 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

You say "Only a damn fool would believe that this government would be in the black by 2006 and have a 2.6 trillion dollar surplus."

Yes, only if said "damn fool" voted for Bush. Twice, I'm guessing? The reason I turned away from the Republican party was because Bush, as my governor, left Texas in the biggest state budget deficit crisis in Texas history, before he even became president. When he left for the presidency, everyone was suddenly like, hey, where'd all this debt come from?

Then, as president, Bush reduced debt projection forecasts from ten year outlays to five, to mask the spiraling spending effects on the debt. The real gag here is that one of the first things Obama did was restore the ten year forecast, and ironically, Republicans suddenly cry, "Oh, look at how much debt we're suddenly seeing under Obama." Like it's magically his fault because he's the guy that opened the ledger to daylight.

Either they're total morons or they think we are. Don't ever quote voodoo math at me, buddy. Bush Sr. was right when he said that about Reagan, but he should have raised his son better. Us real conservatives are the ones who are beholden to no party but just keep tabs on the money and the math. I'll keep voting Democrat until the math changes sides again. Paul Ryan gave me hope for a second, until his laughable budget was published. Still waiting for the pendulum swing of competence to return to the GOP. Regardless, W. Bush destroyed our country financially and if you think otherwise, then just keep your head in the sand where it belongs.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Wizard of Whimsy....One will likely never legislate fairness nor ethics for that matter. It was not just a matter of a few wreckless financial types taking advantage of legal loopholes but that was also mixed with a ton of pressure from the government types to ignore standard practices as it applied to home loans to open up the opportunities the government intended to provide. Once a few sharks were in the water, the industry had to either step away or swim with them. Some did step away and yet when it came time to throw out the stimulus money, the pressure was again placed on them to take money even if they did not need it. In essence, the politicians on both sides of the aisle are hanging their disaster around the neck of the financial industry. Getting a home loan once required a process of paperwork that would match a set of encyclopedias then suddenly it was a one-page affair and open to players of all types because the government decided to guarantee it. WB

@Chris Dane...Look, I share your frustration with debt and I call Texas home as well. At the same time, regardless of whether one uses five year or ten year projects, it is not about the money that you have not yet spent, it is about you money that you have spent. The Bush tax-cuts when first enacted were set for a period of ten years. One does not need to let ten years go by and then look back and note that the money did not come in but we spent it anyway...no adjustments are made to projected revenue streams. The blame on the Bush tax cuts is nothing more than a political cructh which these politicians keep justifying their basis for spending. As for the Tea Party "torpedoeing" the spend-cut agreement, I seem to remember it a bit differently....Obama, after setting an agreement in principle with Boehner waited until the last minute then demanded an additional $400+ billion dollars in spending be included in the package and the deal was off. Obama undermined that deal and he knew that was what he was doing when he did it. Bush actually faced a declining revenue stream in his first three years in office but then saw increases from 2005 on rising into the $2.5 trillion dollar level. With Obama, revenues are again on the decline, even below that of the Bush years, yet the rate of spending has almost doubled in his first term. I see nothing in this presidency which is going to improve the revenue side of the books because his administration is over the top on regulation and basically anti-business (if it is not a "green" project). At the same, spending seems to come easy and enjoyable as it never ceases to stop growing. As to neutrality and law, you might note that Obama-Care has already cost the taxpayers a half-trillion dollars in money which Obama took from the Medicare revenue stream...that money will not be replaced and those who are dependent on Medicare henceforth will suffer for it. As for the cost, look at it this way, when the government takes over the process, I have no doubt it will be "debt neutral" for all the escalating costs will be passed on to those who are paying the premiums for the "required" coverage and free to the rest. In essence, it becomes an escalating tax on the end-user and yet required by law. Call that debt neutral for the government but that is where the buck stops. WB


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

Wayne, I'm not hoping for "legislated fairness or ethics" because I know it won't ever come about with greedy and power-hungry businessmen. I'm pointing to a bought & paid for usurped democracy where people are cheated and exploited by the lobbyist's grip on the legislative process.

You always seem to evade the essential point with arcane accusations and distractions. You imply that it was the politicians like Bill Clinton and Barney Frank who caused the fiasco because of the "paperwork" in their legislation—yet, you ignore the Republicans' refusal to compromise unless the bills are watered down, as well as the overwhelming pressure from the business lobby to put in the very loopholes that made it possible for them to fleece home-buyers and leave the American taxpayers with the bill.

I recognize it's in the nature of a viper to bite, but letting them run free and uncaged and then blaming the victims for getting bitten is convenient but ludicrous.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

Brilliant summation of the state of the union. I think when Obama says "I won't go back" he probably is referring to Chicago! Up interesting, useful and awesome, just not very funny.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

This is a brilliant and clear-cut presentation, Wayne, of many of the most severe problems that are present today in the U.S. most of which have been exacerbated by BO's inexperience and thoughtless, egotistic decisions. We will not return to prosperity until we throw out the old and elect the new. BO must go!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Wizard of Whimsy....I see your point but at the same time one has to look at the housing industry of the times and wonder what business the government had in attempting to manipulate it into a level of false growth under the premise of making home ownership more available to all people. Obviously if the government created and promoted such programs, it was also the government which should have sustained the level of risk rather than throwing open the doors to chaos. If the government builds a safety net under my business, then I'' probably take more chances and more risks which is basically what the industry did on the front end. In the end, when financial institutions saw the growing abandonment of homes, many because the buyer was losing in his game of equity escalation and walked away, then the paper got sold to those willing to take the highest levels of risk with a government net under them. I don't believe there was any doubt that the mortgages involved were high risk...that was no secret. So in the end the housing industry exceed the normal limits of the market through government intervention and suffered the fall while the financial institutions took the blame...Clinton, Barney Frank and company simply looked like some social crusaders up-ended in their efforts to do good. WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@breakfastpop...There are a number of sideline discussions going here but the point is Obama may not want to go back but I am positive I do not want to continue in the direction he is going for. If he has a plan, I would like to see what the grand scheme of it might be. For now, the only obvious end is the financial ruin of the country and the eventual aftermath. Thanks Poppy! WB

@drbj....You said it well as usual, Doc. The private sector does not see anything that it likes in Obama and his direction. Until that outlook changes, our economy will remain stagnant, revenue streams low but of course Obama will keep spending at record levels. Thanks much. WB


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

"I don't believe there was any doubt that the mortgages involved were high risk...that was no secret. So in the end the housing industry exceed the normal limits of the market through government intervention and suffered the fall while the financial institutions took the blame...Clinton, Barney Frank and company simply looked like some social crusaders up-ended in their efforts to do good. WB"

Sorry WB, but that's just plain wrong in terms of what happened and the bundled debt was indeed a secret at the time. I think you missed that recent Frontline that documented what really went down. Wall Street and the big banks hired a bunch of young ivy league hot shots who were teamed up with MIT math and computer science wiz kids to come up with banking and trading algorithms that would make their profits sore. The hotshots and wiz kids came up with all kinds of complex derivatives, default swaps etc. that created the shell game that allowed the banksters and swindlers to bundle mountains of bad debt with real estate scams in with a smidgen of good debt. This, coupled with rating agencies who were bribed to declare their trades and portfolios as "Triple A" investments, then allowed them to cash in on a shell game with no pea under any shell.

The fact, is you either don't see my point or you chose to ignore it. My point is that blaming Clinton, Frank and Obama is not supportable with your argument. The Republican Party (with Clinton's help) started the demise of a regulated banking and finance system. Here's the history:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/money-powe...

And here's the history of The Glass-Steagall Act

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/wall...


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

WOW

The dot com bubble, the housing bubble, and the bundled loans all had the same common denominator, they all went away from fundamental investing mechanism that were conservative.

The housing market became volatile with Freddie and Fannie leading the way, the loans had super low interest, and even the really bad variable loans weren't called because the federal reserve hardly moved the interest rates up.

The frenzy of people with loans looking to buy, stimulated the home owners to sell creating a huge housing market, and bidding war. Market appraisal even at the conservative bank level was useless. The market was whatever the buyers could get loans for, and not on the base value of the property.

Like the dot com stocks, the houses were way above their true worth, the green eyed monster was setting the rules.

the dot com and the financial had the twenty something MBAs out to make their fortune by proposing aggressive and highly risky investment mechanisms.

It was a ponzi scheme, or follow the carrot. The investments that were proposed were giving great returns, and people were throwing caution, and good business sense to get on the money train as it was leaving the station. The last ones on the train paid for the trip.


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

ib, I'm in total accord with you're wonderfully concise distillation of what happened—nevertheless, I still think and feel Wayne has been scapegoating the opposition with misinformation, twisted logic and biased opinions.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@WOW....I will give you the point that actions such as you describe did take place in the play out of a bursting bubble. At the same time, I believe you miss the aspect of "cause and effect". You dwell on the effect...I am point out the initial cause in pointing the blame to Clinton, Frank and company. The Bush Administration echoed that sentiment to Congress only to have it fall on the deaf ears of a Democrat-controlled operation. Had the actions of Clinton and Frank not taken place with regard to the housing market, the atmosphere would not have existed for what entailed in the end. I am not defending those actions, I am simply saying that the financial sector did not create the environment in which it played out. Call that bias and misleading if you want but you cannot have effect without cause. WB

@ib radmasters....I think you did a grand job of describing what happens every time that greeds has an opportunity to surface. In this case, the government made a playground out of the home mortgage industry backed by government safety nets and promoted by government entities. The greedy saw the opportunity and could not resist grabbing at the gains. As you so skillfully point out...conservatism was laid aside just as it was in the dot.com bubble. Greed defies reason but the old adage of don't play the game unless you can afford to lose always applies as does if it sounds to good to be true it probably is. Falsely stimulated markets ultimately fail and anytime the government enters a market, one can file it under "false stimulus". WB


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

"The Bush Administration echoed that sentiment to Congress only to have it fall on the deaf ears of a Democrat-controlled operation."

Sorry Wayne, I don't recall that sentiment ever being voiced, can you provide some more info or a link to what and when that occurred?

Wrt to your response to ib, however, I still don't see how you can make your claims about the "government" when it was clearly the repeal of Glass-Steagall that was more the cause in the effect than anything else—something the Republicans had tried to do for almost 30 years. Clinton was forced to go along with it because he was getting hammered over his indiscretions by a newly elected Republican majority that had him over a political and PR barrel.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

WOW and Wayne

Thanks for the compliments.

I would like to pose a question to both of you.

What would be the best scenario for the outcome of the 2012 election, President, and Congress?

Perhaps this would be more for another hub.

My opinion is that neither party can get us out of what took several decades by both parties to get us where we are today. It would take both parties focusing on solving the same problems.

just a thought.


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

ib- From my perspective, the only hope America has of preserving a semblance of democracy is to elect Obama—otherwise, and if Romney wins, we will have a complete oligarchy run by a corporate elite with a puppet presidency, congress and supreme court.

To quote JFK: "You cannot negotiate with people (or corporations who are now considered "people") who say what's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable."

Here's an amusing satire that illustrates what is really going on in business & congress today . . .

http://www.hulu.com/watch/371091#s-p1-so-i0


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@WOW....Here is a YouTube link out of Canada as one example of the information. There are others you can find by searching Google with"Bush warns Congress of Freddie and Fannie". The clip is only partial and stops before Barney Frank launches his excuse that neither Freddie or Fannie were in financial trouble and did not require monitoring. WB

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMnSp4qEXNM


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@ib radmasters...You are correct...that perspective would probably take a hub. My assessment is that we do not have enough strong people on either side of the aisle in Congress to do what needs to be done. In a nutshell, I see that as making choices about what we can and cannot afford. Clearly, we can no longer afford the expansion which is going on in the federal government with a minimum of 6 to 7 % expansion each year. This expansion also comes on the back on expanded social programs which are driven by politicians desire to buy votes with taxpayer money. The federal government must be put on a course to grow smaller. That comes when we have a progressive law put into place which balances the budget over a short timeframe. Choices will then have to be made just as they are at the state level as to what stays and what goes. Medicare and Social Security will require downstream reform keeping in mind that the current baby boomer generations paid their due and deserve to receive that benefit. Obamacare and all that it entails must go away. If government must address healthcare for those who cannot or are not willing to pay, then they need to do it within the confines of a balanced federal budget. The second aspect of that balanced budget must be a requirement that all reductions achieved are first applied to the national debt as opposed to creating new spending and escalating revenue streams. Finally, the tax structure must be changed from one which is income based to one which is consumption based. With 47% of the American public paying no tax at all on income, we are far too dependent in terms of revenue stream on income. That pressure is causing politicians to look to the more successful in our nation to pay more but that is simply a quick but temporary fix and it stymies investment and economic growth in the process. Eventually, the current system will be totally focused on an ever increasing tax burden on the middle class to carry the load for the rich will have been taxed already to the hilt in a "kick the can" bandaid fix. These laws must be established because our elected officials do not have the backbone nor the long-term focus to carry out the process without it. Sadly, the people have been too divided in their attitude by political hacks to come together in a common focus to stop what we see going on in Washington at the present. By the time that people respond, it will be far too late to recover. WB


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

WoW

I can't really get behind another four years of Obama because he has not accomplished anything on the real issues that are still here over three years later.

Instead he went on working on a totally different project, healthcare. Obamacare will have all the problems of Medicare and Social Security and it broadens the scope of the government and provides another mechanism to increase the budget deficit. Adding thirty million people to an already expensive, and incompetent INDUSTRY is not an accomplishment.

Obama cannot blame Bush because that is how he won the election, but this election it is all Obama, and what he hasn't accomplished.

Obama and his democratic congress had their turn at the plate, it is time for side out.

I believe that Obama's bag of tricks is empty, I guess that you see it as half full. :}

At least Romney is not going around the country campaigning while he is an elected official. I know that all the politicians do it, as was evidenced in 2006-2008 where a fair number of senators were shirking their in office duties to pander for the presidency. Obama did it for his last two years as senator, and this year he is doing it as president. With the problems that the country has today, Obama would have run a better campaign by doing, rather than talking. He has the presidency and he could have started what he proposes for his second term instead of campaigning.

If elected officials want to run for a new position like the presidency then they should resign from their current office. This goes for any elected official from either party.

Because everyone in 2006-2008 was running for the presidency, or just running for reelection the Congress took their eye off the ball, and you know they all looked like deer in the headlights shortly before the election when the economy collapsed.

Today the same thing is happening, only this time the economy won't collapse, it just won't recover, people are still losing jobs, and their homes. The middle class that still have their jobs will pay higher taxes to offset the unemployment.

Wayne

Sorry WOW but I like Wayne's answer.


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

Wayne, thanks for the link and for your sincerity and diligence. I have to admit that the Fox News piece is very persuasive and I also acknowledge that Bush was right about the dangers and Frank was wrong in his rebuttal.

That said, I don't see that piece as "fair & balanced" because it is highly selective and conveniently edited to make a strong partisan case against what they believe to be too much power that controlled mortgage interest rates. Here is, imho, a more balanced view from Wikipedia . . .

“Some long-time critics of government and the GSEs, like American Enterprise Institute fellow Peter J. Wallison claim that the roots of the crisis can be traced directly to risky lending by government sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Although Wallison's claims have received widespread attention in the media and by policy makers, the majority report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, several studies by Federal Reserve economists, and the work of independent scholars suggest that Wallison's claims are not supported by data. In fact, the GSEs loans performed far better than loans securitized by private investment banks, and GSE loans performed better than some loans originated by institutions that held loans in their own portfolios

Wallison has been widely criticized for attempting to politicize the investigation of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and his critics include fellow Republican Commissioners Morgenson and Rosner also highlight the role of the GSEs in non-prime lending Others agree and disagree.”

. . .” CAUSES: The crisis can be attributed to a number of factors pervasive in both housing and credit markets, factors which emerged over a number of years. Causes proposed include the inability of homeowners to make their mortgage payments (due primarily to adjustable-rate mortgages resetting, borrowers overextending, predatory lending, and speculation), overbuilding during the boom period, risky mortgage products, increased power of mortgage originators, high personal and corporate debt levels, financial products that distributed and perhaps concealed the risk of mortgage default, bad monetary and housing policies, international trade imbalances, and inappropriate government regulation

Three important catalysts of the subprime crisis were the influx of money from the private sector, the banks entering into the mortgage bond market and the predatory lending practices of the mortgage lenders, specifically the adjustable-rate mortgage, 2–28 loan, that mortgage lenders sold directly or indirectly via mortgage brokers. On Wall Street and in the financial industry, moral hazard lay at the core of many of the causes

In its "Declaration of the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy," dated 15 November 2008, leaders of the Group of 20 cited the following causes:

During a period of strong global growth, growing capital flows, and prolonged stability earlier this decade, market participants sought higher yields without an adequate appreciation of the risks and failed to exercise proper due diligence. At the same time, weak underwriting standards, unsound risk management practices, increasingly complex and opaque financial products, and consequent excessive leverage combined to create vulnerabilities in the system. Policy-makers, regulators and supervisors, in some advanced countries, did not adequately appreciate and address the risks building up in financial markets, keep pace with financial innovation, or take into account the systemic ramifications of domestic regulatory actions “


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

ib- I understand and appreciate your candor.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

WOW

Thanks


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@WOW....Here is another section out of that same Wikipedia article....

"Economist Paul Krugman has also argued in July 2008 that although the GSE (government sponsored entities) are "problematic institutions," they played a small role in the crisis because they were legally barred from engaging in subprime lending.[49] Economist Russell Roberts has taken issue with Krugman's contention that the GSEs did not engage in subprime lending,[50] citing a June 2008 Washington Post article which stated that "[f]rom 2004 to 2006, the two [GSEs] purchased $434 billion in securities backed by subprime loans, creating a market for more such lending."[51] Furthermore, a 2004 HUD report admitted that while trading securities that were backed by subprime mortgages was something that the GSEs officially disavowed, they nevertheless participated in the market.[52] However, in 2011, the Federal Reserve, using statistical comparisons of geographic regions which were and were not subject to GSE regulations finds that GSEs played no significant role in the subprime crisis.[53] In the final analysis, those who seek to deflect criticism of Fannie Mae and Fredie Mac by pointing out that private lenders eventually issued most of the worst performing loans ignore the primary role that the GSE's played in expanding the use of subprime loans. In 1999, Franklin Raines first put Fannie Mae into subprimes, following up on earlier Fannie Mae efforts in the 1990's which reduced mortgage down payment requirements. At this time, subprimes represented a tiny fraction of the overall mortgage market. [54] In 2003, after the use of subprimes had been greatly expanded, and numerous private lenders had begun issuing subprime loans as a competitive response to Fannie and Freddie, the GSE's still controlled nearly 50% of all subprime lending. From 2003 forward, private lenders increased their share of subprime lending, and later issued many of the riskiest loans. However, attempts to defend Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for their role in the crisis, by citing their declining market share in subprimes after 2003, ignore the fact that the GSE's had largely created this market, and even worked closely with some of the worst private lending offenders, such as Countrywide. In 2005, one out of every four loans purchased by Fannie Mae came from Countrywide. [55] Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac essentially paved the subprime highway, down which many others later followed."


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

Yes and I conceded that "they contributed" to the crisis—but it didn't "cause" the crisis as you contended in your "cause & effect" argument.

Wayne, it's your Hub and your right to believe what you believe; I just felt compelled to respectfully disagree with your views because they seem based on selective memory and ideological bias.

I respect your hard-headed analysis of things and I admit to agreeing with you on a lot of your observations.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@WOW....No problem at all. I publish your commentary because I know that you feel strongly about it and these discussions are important to the dialogue that America needs to have on a broader basis. Maybe you do not agree nor do I but that is fine. We still respect each other's opinion in our own way and we also demonstrate that we can discuss things on a civil plane without calling each other names, etc. You made some points with me and I do take heed to the fact that the investment bankers did their share of promoting the greed which grew the monster even larger...so in the end, it is a worthwhile exchange. Stop by anytime! WB


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

Smooch! ;-)


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Wizard of Whimsy.....Had trouble getting to link to actuate after I opened it. I will try it again tomorrow and check it out. Thanks Much! WB


pramodgokhale profile image

pramodgokhale 4 years ago from Pune( India)

I read article.I found it thought provoking .I think America should look inward instead outward.Domestic affairs are more important than external.Unemployment is an issue, but in first term Prez. Obama brought situation under control but unwanted wars and involvement cost in trillions , American economy suffered badly.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@pramodgokhale...I am not sure that I would contend that Obama brought unemployment to a plateau so much as I would contend that the economic downturn just bottomed out on a flat curve and pretty much stayed there...kind of like falling off a cliff and catching an outcrop of rocks on the way down. The private sector is confused, depressed, and in disarray. Executive orders and piling up regulations keep the sector stymied and afraid to invest, grow, or take up a new direction. Consumer confidence is low due in great part to the high cost of energy sustained by the federal government's energy attitude under Obama. For him to conclude that the private sector is fine and that the government sector is what needs to expand is more than enough evidence that he either does not want to go in the right direction or that he truly does not have a clue. Until things improve for the private sector, the American economy and unemployment are going nowhere but down and stagnant at best. Thanks much. WB


Chris Dane profile image

Chris Dane 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

Alright, reality check. You contend? Is this where you choose your own facts? Everyone agreed that the actions taken by Bush with TARP and the Obama administration's following interventions (GM is now number one again WORLDWIDE!) saved the economy from its plummet. There is no doubt, nothing to contend with there. Republicans say the same thing, and they do credit Obama, they just say the rebound isn't fast enough under his watch. Or they would have done things differently, like let GM go bankrupt first.

If the private sector is doing so poorly, why have they posted record profits for the past couple of years? Why are they continuing to hire? Why are investments growing? Why are gas and energy prices lower than they were towards the end of the Bush administration?

Here's the real question: why is unemployment so slow in it's decline? Could it be that the vast majority of Republican governors have been cutting public sector jobs? Paul Ryan's plan, which Mitt Romney has endorsed, cuts 4 million public sector jobs. That's on top of all of the jobs cut so far by these governors. So who's going to put America back to work and who's going to kill the recovery? I'm guessing the same guys responsible for killing the economy and trying to keep smothering it the whole time. If you want to vote for these snuff artists, contend with that.


American Romance profile image

American Romance 4 years ago from America

Chris, No one ever said GM didn't build a good vehicle. They are bankrupt because of UNION pensions and salaries. Working Americans resent bailing the union thugs out! Next they are doing as well as you think, GM still owes Americans about 50 billion in stock buy backs from the government. Not to mention the thousands that had their stock taken by Obama and given to the unions. I drive a Ford now, I plan on purchasing a new one next week. I would prefer a GM, but I refuse to honor their ways.

"cutting public sector jobs" haha, that is the BEST thing we can do! You understand that public sector job salaries only come from tax paying Americans.

The word profit has come from rhetoric wherein companies have tons of cash on hand. They are keeping this cash because they are afraid of health care cost and regulation from Obama. No one can afford to move untill knowing where he stands.

There is some rebound, Why? Because Americans refuse to sit idly by, We have an inherent ambtion to create, work, and be ambitious. By the way I wish you would learn who destroyed the economy..........Democrats, start with Barney Frank and his housing bills!


Chris Dane profile image

Chris Dane 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

To my friend, American Romance, I think your interpretation of events is rooted in a good place. You speak of merit, rugged individualism, and free choice, if I interpret your post correctly. I want to make sure you're not interpreting my points as attacking those virtues, because that's exactly what they are.

The problem is that you've bought into the "union thugs" argument, which is easy to buy into, granted, because unions have a lot of elements that are problematic, antiquated, and need to be done away with. Railing against them without offering a better alternative, though, is at the heart of the problem. We need worker and employer protection. This is THE human rights challenge of the 21st century (if it wasn't the 20th's as well) and many, many human rights issues spiral out from this root. This century may very well see the end of the nation state and the rise of the corporate hegemony where the state only exists to ratify contracts and enforce them.

I'm all for opposing the unions if we can create a more fair and balanced long term solution for reasonable protections for our workers guaranteed. Right now, it's festering extremism on both sides that's sparked existential crises among the dominant philosophies. A lot of democrats back unions not because they believe in them but because they're the only bastion left of worker protectionism, and the reason they're the only thing left is because they're the only thing crooked enough to survive the other crooks who have eroded all of the other consumer and worker protections in our country.

If you want to buy a Ford, go for it. I like Ford, too. Luckily, the Chinese are buying GM cars in the droves (no pun intended) and that's good for us. If you're upset that GM was bailed out and turned it into such a remarkable success and that union employees benefitted, I will point out that the entire economy would have suffered greater unemployment and long term stagnation if these and other programs weren't implemented. That effects us all. I would also point out that GM has paid back most of its bail out funds, at a profit to the taxpayer. If corporations can benefit from smart investments of capital, why can't we, the tax payer, as well? Don't throw the baby out with the bath water just because a union benefitted.

As for corporate profits, it's concern about healthcare that's keeping their cash on hand? Hah. Try this instead. They're worried about only one thing this cycle: the Bush Tax Cuts. Obama's actually been really good for the wealthy. Like I said, record profits. They're funneling money to Romney not because of healthcare (Romney will save Obamacare, and they know it already). They already have employee health care plans that they get to retain, Obamacare affects so little for them, it's a non issue. No, the reason they're backing Romney is they want the Tax Cuts for the ultra wealthy to stay. Keeping cash on hand is to pay for CEO and upper level compensation should the tax cuts go away (like they were supposed to before). It's greed, not need. And just look at those bonuses and their size, measure the cost of the Bush tax cuts versus the amount of compensation, subtract, and then add cash reserves. It's fun math. The short of it is, the companies are hiring and will continue to do so either way, but they're not holding the money out of fear of cost. It's out of greed.

And I know that the popular feel good smoke for Republicans right now is to blame the housing crisis on Barney Frank and the bills he passed and not the "somehow innocent everyone else" who took mean advantage of the situation to glorious, disastrous effect. It was a financial sector subprime bundling gimmick that brought down the housing market, but somehow, blaming Barney Frank for making it so that people had a shot at owning a home is the culprit? You guys are just ludicrous about this. There's been such a lack of accountability, everyone just wants to believe their side is blameless, somehow. There's plenty of blame for both sides.

I'd finally like to address principle. The Republican Party has become the wife of Ricky Bobby in Talledega Nights, trying to take Ricky off of life support when he's not even dying yet. Or how about this? It's like the ship is taking on water, and the Republicans are the captain of the ship, ready to go down with it on principle, while the Dems are saying, no, wait, we can still bail this out. They're using buckets while the captain stands with the violin players. The Republicans have become Nero, playing the violin loudly while Rome burns, DOING NOTHING to fix it. How many times as Beohner's congress taken recess? They are literally a do-nothing congress.

And you think firing public sector employees isn't the problem but the solution? Oh, that's right, we have an unemployment problem, so let's put more fire on the fire. That'll help. We need to raise revenue. Not because the government will spend more, but because we've already spent it. It's debt. We need to pay it. We don't have enough to pay it. It's a fire. Why do you want to use fire rather than water? Have we all just gone mad and stopped looking at basic math? How do you pay down debt? All of these Republican idiots have signed pledges to not raise revenue, but not a single one has pledged to cut spending. That's not conservative, that's a credit card. That's super-liberal. Why are you supporting these guys? When they were in charge, they spent, spent, spent, without paying for it, so it all went to the debt.

Obama comes in, opens up the ledgers, extends the debt forecast so we can actually see it in daylight, and then pays for everything he does. All paid for. We've made a profit on some it, even. The TARP money of 700 billion? We only spent 400 B of that and have made some of it back. Compare Obamacare to medicare and health care cost outlays, and do so using only republican analysts, if you like. And tell me that it doesn't decrease that particular tangent of horrifying growth.

I'm not attacking your principles, because I'm a conservative who believes in those same virtues. But we're late in the Republic, virtuous men are hard come by, and we must choose between the factions we have for the best of the chaff. And ultimately, the Republican party that I once believed was fiscally conservative has actually become a debt monster that makes the democrats look prudent. A sign of how bad things are? Yes. But I'm picking the lesser of the two evils until the pendulum of fiscal competence swings back to the GOP. But that's a wide arc, right now, buddy.


Chris Dane profile image

Chris Dane 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

I would also like to add that private-sector job growth under Obama has been 2.4 million, compared to 1.8 million under Bush. What does that tell you?


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

Wayne and Chris

My opinion at this time is no one but us are reading these last comments, I would humbly suggest creating other hubs for the diversions of these points.

Wayne this was a great hub with good response, but the I for one think new hubs with more specific points would be helpful.

When the comments get this lengthy, I think that they would be best set in a hub.

just a thought. possibly other people are reluctant to enter their comments.

For example, the unions could be a new hub.

The issue with unions in the government sector is that unions were to protect workers against harsh, and powerful companies. If that applies to the government than more than unions need to change the government.

Secondly, government workers are public servants yet they are getting benefits and pensions that are very expensive to the taxpayers, and one that are long gone from the private sector.

In California as well as the federal government, these government unions are negatively affecting the budget, causing deficits.

If there is a need to protect workers, than it should apply to more than just public servants.

The private sector employees 401K pensions lost about forty percent of their worth, while the government employee defined benefits gained cost of living increases, and not losing any money at all.

That is not right, and that is the problem with the government employee unions.

Thanks


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@ib radmasters....I believe you are totally correct on that point. A few of the commenters on here missed the benefit of creating another hub. Thanks for the suggestion. WB


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Chris Dane...In light of radmasters comments above, I will acknowledge your statements but keep it short. GM ended up in the position of facing bankruptcy because they gave the unions all they asked for. In that regard nothing has changed...they still cannot afford to do that and yes the unions will continue their demands for it. As to the private sector and cash hoarding, I suspect the real driver is fear of a failing federal government...the past three years have been extremely unstable in terms of deficit spending, debt pileup and the growing ratio of debt to GDP. As for jobs, I see no economic improvement in a government which is steadily growing at a minimum of 6% per year since 2008. By 2018 it will have increased in size (and cost) by 60%...nothing but a financial burden for taxpayers. As for the role of government at state and local level as an employer...basically the unions have done to those organizations what the unions have done to GM. No entity can afford the overhead associated with these jobs so getting rid of them may cause some short-term discomfort but it does relieve the burden of a state or local government bound by law to balance its operating budget. If the private sector was up and growing that transition would be much shorter as opportunity would be driven by economic growth. WB


American Romance profile image

American Romance 4 years ago from America

Chris, you admitted the unions had problems. Then came back and said there must be an alternative? Why? There are almost none existent unions in my state and we have 5% unemployment. Most live ABOVE the national average. Not one county in my state voted for Obama. We are the ONLY state that can now brag about this fact.

There are enough labor laws on the federal books to protect companies from using 10 year olds to work etc................so again why do we need unions?

Unions bankrupt almost every company they takeover. You are too young to know that there used to be 70,000 auto workers...........now only 7000 in just one factory. TWA airlines is broke for only one reason.......unions, They rape and pillage then move on.

I agree with you on cutting spending. I see you have some good thoughts, but I am confused at others.

Do more digging on the jobs Obama supposedly created. Those in the know say hundreds of thousands simply stopped looking, therefore they no longer are counted.

We have too many subjects here to discuss. But I will end with this. Public sector jobs create NOTHING, they make no one a profit and are simply a drain on the community. Yes some of their services are needed but not all. Only private sector jobs pay down debt and help the economy. The tax money that is being paid in by public sectors is a tiny portion of what was taken from private jobs to pay the public jobs in the first place...........have a great day.


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 4 years ago from upstate, NY

"The simple truth of the matter is that the government cannot raise significant revenue through taxation without taking it out on the middle-class workers of America…the largest sector of working people".

We need to keep emphasing this simple truth, till it slowly sinks into American minds full of mush as "Rush" likes to say!

If The individual mandate is struck down by the courts, two thirds of the American poeple will breath a sigh of relief and I believe Obama's presidency will be over! No doubt that Romney will have his work cut out for him as the next president if elected!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@wba108@yahoo.com....Your point is dead on! We cannot fix America with taxation as we will tax the rich to the point of supress then load the middle class up to the point of losing hope...then, we have nothing and the debt still stands. We must reduce spending and apply the surplus to the debt, plain and simple as a start. From there, we have to reduce the size of government at the federal level and we have to make some hard choices about what we can and cannot afford as a nation. Those who seek national office who do not have the stomach for that level of political courage need not apply. Thanks much. WB


American Romance profile image

American Romance 4 years ago from America

Wayne, excellent comment!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@American Romance...Thanks much AR...always glad to have you visit and add your input. WB


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

Ah, Wayne - your passion, knowledge beliefs, facts, and analytical mind are something to behold! I am not nearly as savvy but i do keep my canadian eye quite firmly on american politics, economics, trends, etc. Unfortunately, i am one of those who probably would not...could not vote - even if i had the right to. I believe both sides of this election to be equally...inept..and frequently fret over the entire election process as it stands (or has it fallen to it's knees?..) I was recently so horrendously accosted by customs and 'homeland security' recently when entering the USA - that i was shaking like a leaf and white as a ghost. Locked in a concrete cell (for a total of 6 hours)...being interrogated by 2 at a time..interrupted..yelled at...etc. And - i have been going back and forth across the border my entire life - like water - and all of a sudden at the age of 52 - THIS? it must have been 7 men/women over a 7 hour period. Hmmm...i had a wonderful vacation by the way...sigh..


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@ImKarn23...I tend to agree with your political position...I have little faith in either side in terms of doing the right things. For now, I think the USA is headed too much in a socialist direction...we need to change that and I hope that we can at least achieve that before too many things are wrecked beyond repair. Sorry about the go-round with TSA & Company...it seems as if one of the qualifications for the job is the inability to think or to apply common sense. Par for the course. Thanks much. WB


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

Hi Wayne! It wasn't the TSA...i was simply driving through a border crossing in Pembina, ND - like i've done dozens of times before..It was unbelievable!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@ImKarn23....Woo! That's even worse. Here we are busting chops on the Canadian border while everyone and his brother moves back and forth across the border with Mexico. They must have taken you for a terrorist! LOL! Terrrorist really like that Pembina crossing! WB


Chris Dane profile image

Chris Dane 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

Dear WB, greatly enjoyed the debate here on your hub. Good work, and here's to many more wrasslin' matches.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Chris Dane...Thanks much, Chris. Glad we can have a discussion and share views without turning it into an attack on the person. That is so very important in the present when even our elected ones cannot seem to sit down for a civil discourse and find some grounds for compromise. Stop by any time, I welcome your perspective. WB


Chris Dane profile image

Chris Dane 4 years ago from Maryland, USA

Amen, brother!


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

And somethin' from my kind of Marxist:

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."

~Groucho Marx


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Wizard of Whimsy...Ol Groucho got it right on the money...he was one of the better Marxist! LOL! My favorite line by him came on his television show, "You Bet Your Life" when he asked one of the lady contestants how many kids she had. She replied, "I have nine, Grouch...I love my husband." Without pause, Groucho shot back, "I love my cigar, lady, but I take it out of my mouth every once in a while." Thanks much for the laugh. WB


Wizard Of Whimsy profile image

Wizard Of Whimsy 4 years ago from The Sapphire City

My favorite too, Wayne and God knows we can use the Marx Brothers these days.


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 4 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

Awesome hub, you are so right on the issues that we are facing since Obama took office. I am very frightened with this health care bill that now since your writing has passed. It looks like the number of Drs. about 31% will not be taking any medicaid patients, so where does that put those elderly individuals? Plus the fact that it will cost so much more money. I am anxiously waiting for Nov. 6th, we need to take our country back before it's too late. Thanks Wayne!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@Whidbeywriter...I fear that conservative voters who had their eye on another candidate are going to miss voting because they are not enamored with Romney. But this election is not about Romney...it is about getting Obama out of the White House. In that sense, I would accept a tree in his place. Thanks much! WB


justgrace1776 profile image

justgrace1776 4 years ago

I'm not going to give an opinion regarding Obamacare because I think it's seriously flawed. But I offer this in answer to the blaming of Obama for the U.S. financial/employment/housing crises:

For too long, the United States has masked its monetary and fiscal downfall with temporary relief. Four years ago, an economic stimulus package amounted to $167 billion. The dollar figure may seem adequate, however, when measured up against a $49 trillion liability, which was the country’s combined debt, it was hardly enough to dent the struggling economy. Monetary remedies of the past - raising rates to slow the economy in the face of inflation or lowering the rates when the economy looked bleak - was still the pattern of thought as the $8 trillion bailout took effect, another seemingly adequate number that was nearly 60 percent of the gross domestic product. Another $1 trillion package is being wrapped right now and it appears to be just another sealant.

The lesson is in the U.S.’s history

The $1 trillion is enough to raise the deficit to 10 percent of the GDP, which is the largest since World War II. It doesn’t even begin to address the 2.5 million people who have lost their jobs. While some look back to the New Deal in 1933 as a model for solution that instilled assistance to the poor, financial regulations and the boost for the working class, they also need to be aware unemployment stayed above 14 percent until the second World War. The GDP grew, but only because of government programs. World War II set the GDP on a race track toward the better. After the war, it abruptly stopped growing.

The band-aids used over the years come partly from a faulty system to measure inflation. The U.S. experienced a 10-year boost of false credit before 2008. Homeowners made up for 70 percent of population, which was a target point for the U.S.’s method for sizing up inflation. Instead of calling it a mortgage payment, the government called it rent and determined how much each person’s rent was to reach the level of inflation. Rent was underestimated because inflated home loans didn’t figure into the mix. It amounted to 50 percent of the actual expense. The U.S. relied on the National Bureau of Economic Research to announce the recession, even though it’s not NBER’s purpose. The recession couldn’t be declared in the first part of 2008. The stimulus package had momentarily glossed it over. Since the $167 billion didn’t last long, the U.S. was eventually forced to call the recession, albeit late.

U.S. might want to look for a long term plan

A model for the United States could come from Japan. Japan saves instead of spending. And, it doesn’t enter into wars. Japan’s economy staggered for 20 years while its monetary policy took a dive, and the Bank of Japan’s rates hit close to zero in the wake of a real estate and stock market disaster. Meanwhile, the U.S. has dipped further into self-destruction via the Federal Reserve chipping away at the dollar. The U.S. may look to countries like Japan for assistance, which is iffy since the American government is still dolling out funds with no cushion in place. Leaning on Japan doesn’t mean the U.S. is going to change its direction from spending to saving.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas Author

@JustGrace1776....Certainly the cost of the wars in the Middle East were taking some toll on the 2nd term of Bush but I believe much of the issues other than the housing bubble came with the 2007 Congress which used it Democrat dominance to make both the first and the second stimulus appropriation. In my mind, government is not the answer to saving an economy no matter how much money is dumped into it and also in light of the fact that the figures significant raised the national debt. The most effective thing government can do for an economy is step back and let the private sector have some room. The Bush Administration also warned Congress multiple times to expect a collapse in financial markets in light of the precarious situation in the home mortgage industry set in motion by Frank-Dodd in Clinton's rearrangement of the Fair Housing Act. Cautions were ignored. Now we hav a sitting president to subscribes to flawed economic theory and believes that expansion of government, growth in government spending, and a rise in taxation will begin to cure America's financial and economic ills....which could not be further from the truth. Obama had an agreement in place with the Republicans under the debt ceiling debacle to put a spending reduction plan in place. Obama intentionally undermined that plan at the last minute demanding that an addition $400 billion be added to current spending before imposing any cuts. That leaves us in open stalemate with regard to a budget and unchecked spending by the administration, a government that has grown by around 18% in 3 years and run away debt piling up faster and faster. Obama's token action is to begin to gut the American military budget to gain revenue to spend in other areas slowly undermining America's military strength...soon we'll be verneable on every front. In general, I think you hit the nail on the head, there are many things which must be done, but first and foremost, the spending must be brought into check and reduced as a first step. Thanks much, Grace. WB


justgrace1776 profile image

justgrace1776 4 years ago

Thanks Wayne, and I agree that many more issues need to be addressed. Spending is the first!

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